Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Panic Stations

The last few weeks have simply flown by. About three weeks ago I had a dream, not the normal dreams that we have but one of those significant dreams that you sense is God speaking to you. The dream seemed to indicate that we would be having more help in the office. At the time there was nothing on the horizon so I put it away wondering if the dream was just a way of God encouraging me.

It was about a week later that I received a phone call offering a short term worker to help with reviewing all the different projects that we are involved with and to help us develop a method for evaluating what we do in the future. This is something that we have wanted to do for some time and made a start on but go nowhere. So come Monday this person started working with us and staying in the guest flat.

About a week later someone at out Friday evening group asked if we could do with some help from a student programmer. So we met with this young man and he started with us the following money. He is being supported from people in the UK and will be with us we hope for 12-18 months.

About a week later a friend said they now had more time available and might it be appropriate for them to help as our administrator... and they will start tomorrow.

Another partner agency has brought over a short-term volunteer from South Africa and he is working with us for a couple of weeks in developing a component for a joint project. The hardware hasn't arrived in time for him to start that so he has been helping us with other work for us.

OK, so with all these extra people around the place why have I titled this 'Panic Stations'? The reason is that yesterday morning I came into the office to find one of our two main servers down, which meant all of our websites were down and all of our radio stations. I rebooted the server remotely and started looking with Peter to see if we could find out why it crashed. While I was doing this the server crashed again.

I contacted the service company for the hardware and the computer restarted... and crashed again. By the end of the day I was very frustrated and sent out an SMS message to about 40 friends around the world saying 'please pray'. Eventually the server came up around midnight... and crashed again at about 6am this morning! We rebooted it and it stayed up for a couple of hours and crashed again... we rebooted and it crashed again... eventually it came up long enough for Peter to look at it and find that it crashed as a result of what was effectively a Denial of Service attack through a fault in one of the websites we host. So we took that site down till the programmers can re-write and fix the problem.

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